A statue of bronze now honors the Minnesota Twins’ iron man from the Iron Range.
T.C., whose team-leading 1,100th consecutive game is Sunday, was recognized earlier in the day outside Target Field with a bronze statue before the afternoon contest against the Houston Astros.
The life-size likeness of the always-smiling mascot was unveiled on the 7th Street side of Target Plaza near the box office, with former Twin Tony Oliva and Manager Ron Gardenhire among those on hand.
The Twins publicity office reports that T.C. is a native of Bear River, about 30 miles north — as the bear ambles — from Chisholm. His man cave these days is in White Bear Lake.
Signed by the Twins as free agent on April 3, 2000, T.C. is widely recognized as one of the best-hitting mascots in the majors, notching a record six victories in the All-Star Game Mascot Home Run Derby.
“T.C. has been a fan favorite ever since he was introduced at the Metrodome in 2000,” Joe Pohlad, director of Twins productions, said in a statement. “Since then, he has grown to become a significant part of the franchise, and we’re proud to commemorate his contributions with this piece of public art that will forever live on Target Plaza.”
T.C. joins a prestigious list of Twins figures immortalized with statues outside the Minneapolis stadium. The others are: former players Hrbek, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Kirby Puckett and Harmon Killebrew, and former owners Calvin Griffith, and Carl and Eloise Pohlad.
The statue was the work of Tivolitoo, the St. Paul company that designed and built the Snoopys. The others were done for the Twins by Minnesota artist Bill Mack.